We who have no LEUP should start clustering 62 gram motors. Then when we
have that down, we should start staging the clusters. Maybe we can use just
as much APCP as we were before the rule. Then we can show the ATF what
stupid idiots they are. Heck we could stock pile our 50 to 100 lbs of 62
gram motors in our garages without a storage box.
Yep the gov has no clue, everyday our freedoms are taken away, the gov
wants to control your life sort of how they used to do it in the Soviet
Union in way its kinda funny.
a country is only as powerful as the people it govners fear them, a
country is powerless when its people people fear its government, the
more fear our own governmet puts in its people the more they will look
to gain thier freedoms back.
now if you store those 50 to 100 62 gramm motors in a box it would be
ok but if you put a lock on that box then you might as well be put on
americas most wanted, soon the only way one will have thier freedom
back is to rebel but then the media will label you a traitor and right
now being traitor dosnt look so bad.
In the early 1980's before there were larger motors on the market
megaclustering was SOP. I personally saw a successful flight of
an 86 F motor cluster and an unsuccessful flight of a two-stage
rocket with a total of 171 F and G motors(Helix 1 and 2, Smoke
The problem is ignition. Those rockets used a lot of thermalite
fuse which was readily available back then. Now it requires a
LEUP and is scarce and aging.
Cluster ignition of composite motors without using regulated
items is the problem. ATF is trying to limit clustering by
requiring LEUP's to buy ematches. Green fuse doesn't work.
I dunno how, but I'm confident someone in the hobby will find a
But the cost per newton-second will be higher in clusters.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably
the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute
Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such
Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Somewhere in there, the law of deminishing returns comes into play as
well. When it does at what motor size/weight I don't know.
A few weekends ago, I clustered 6 F42 and 1 G40 motor. It was a nice
flight, but I wouldn't want to imagine the rats nest of wires you'd
have if you tried to cluster 50 motors. Also, what kind of amperage
would be needed to fire all 50 at the same time?
Depends on how they're wired. In parallel the usual way? then on the
order of 500 amps @ 12v for ignition--but the launcher better be
prepared to withstand 2 or 3 times that, as burning igniters (but not
bare nichrome wire) tend to continue to conduct at lower resistance and
thus draw higher current.
Blasters don't connect a large number of initiators in parallel, but
usually a combination of in series and in parallel. Most modern igniters
will work reliably if wired in series.
You just gave me a great Idea. But I think I saw something in the NAR
newsletter already on it. Well the NAR article was not exactly what I had
in mind but it is close. The NAR article showed a device some kid thought
up on how to light clusters. He had a large dia tube with a pre measured
amount of black power or pyrodex. Then that tube had a bulkhead in it with
a bunch of straws going out of it up into the back end of the motors. When
the pre-charge was set off it shot flame up the tubes and lit off all the
Well my Idea is similar to that only different. I wouldn't tell ya'll and
make it to sell but I would need an explosives licence to do that and that
just defeat the principle of the IDEA of going around the ATF so I'll tell
ya'll anyway and maybe some one else can add to this idea then some one else
and soon we will have a real good working ignition system for clusters.
The idea is this... make a small motor that has APCP propellant in it.
Obviously this motor would have to be less than 62.5 grams of propellant.
Put a medusa like nozzle in it with tubes sticking out of the nozzles
(probably would have to be part of the nozzle so they would not pop out.
Now this small motor which I will call the igniter can be part of the launch
pad arraignment. The clustered rockets would have to have a standard
cluster configuration so that this igniter system would be interchangeable
from rocket to rocket. Anyway this igniter motor would be facing aft end up
with these tubes sticking up in a standard config. Then the rocketeer would
take his rocket and lower it onto the igniter system so each of the tubes
went into the clustered rocket motors. You would only have to light the one
igniter motor and it would shoot nice and hot aluminum APCP up into the
clustered rocket igniting all the motors at the same time.
Staging could be done the same way.
Hmmmm I think I'll try it. Any one else up for the challenge? Sounds fun.
Lets report back on our successes or failures. That way all of us can put
our heads together and finally end up with a nice working ignition system
that we can all standardize and share with one another!
Hmmm. I own a mill and lathe. Maybe I could come up with the igniter motor
casing and hardware and sell that. You guys would have to put your own
propellant in it. Maybe you could stick a standard Aerotech reload grain in
it. But making your own propellant would be funner. And since you are not
flying the igniter you could use this homemade "igniter" it at a NAR
If we work together our ingenuity can over come any obstacle that falls from
the ATF wagon.
All igniters were hand-dipped magnalite igniters (purchased from PML
years ago...it lasts forever) The igniters were all wired in parallel.
The launcher was a relay system that the club has, so I can't give
specs on it.
All 7 motors lit. The 6 F42s lit and came up to pressure very fast (as
they're Blue Thunder, thats expected) and the G40 came up to pressure
about 30 feet off the pad. It looked like it was air-started.
One of the club members has pics of it and once I get them I'll post
Now THAT would be tragically funny. The government would be regulating
"I am the terror that flaps in the night.
I am the neurosis that requires a five hundred dollar an hour shrink.
I am Darkwing Duck!"
The British government did for a while prohibit water rockets as
explosive devices. They finally listened to reason.
Our own (US) NFPA regulations on toy water rockets came from the post
rocket fad era. One company sold a toy rocket powered by citric acid
baking soda--both edible substances--with a soft rubber nosecone and a
string to release the rocket from its launch pad. Several cities
as "dangerous projectiles."
What I find funny is the complete disregard of the FAR 101 four ounce
propellant limit by water rocket enthusiasts...and the FAA. Dihydrogen
monoxide rockets are already regulated--and not. When(not if)the gov't
around to regulating rockets per se instead of just propellants all
rocket will be totally bizarre and tragically funny. The precedent has
been set in fireworks; no fireworks hobbyist wants to be caught dead
paper tube colored red. Or too many paper tubes. Or the wrong size
paper tubes. Guilt by presumption of intended use.
I can see the warning on the pop bottle label now:
"WARNING! It is a felony to repressurize this plastic bottle!"
Gotta go now. My daily count of laws I've broken just passed 10,000...
the FAA really only cares about stuff that gets up into airliner airspace.
note to self: don't paint rockets red.
so how many paper tubes can I posess without being a 'fireworks nut'?
Yup, we've been there before: you're a spy if you're of Japanese descent
(WWII) or own a radio transmitter (also WWII).